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Download references. This research was part funded by the Prehistoric Society Bob Smith fund. Thanks also go to Gail and Alan Russell for sourcing the plant samples and Kirsty Harding for producing some of the figures. Thanks to Dr. Memorial University Newfoundland, St. Other authors led analytical elements of the research and contributed to the manuscript V.
Correspondence to Richard Madgwick. Reprints and Permissions. Sci Rep 9, Download citation. Received : 06 September Accepted : 25 November Published : 24 December Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Science of The Total Environment Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines.
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Massive ancient temple complex may lurk beneath famous Northern Ireland fort
Skip to main content Thank you for visiting nature. Download PDF. Subjects Biogeochemistry.
Abstract Navan Fort is an iconic prehistoric Irish ceremonial centre and the legendary capital of Ulster. Introduction Navan Fort is one of the great later prehistoric regional ceremonial centres of Ireland which are documented in later historical and mythological sources 1 , 2. Figure 1. Full size image. Table 1 Details of the samples from Navan Fort. Full size table. NAV35—39 were only analysed for strontium isotope data. Other missing values relate to C:N and N:S ratios being outside acceptable ranges. Table 3 Summary statistics for the isotope results. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Discussion Defining local bioavailability To establish whether non-local animals are present, it is imperative to determine the range of bioavailable strontium and sulphur in the vicinity of the site.
Figure 5. Table 4 Sample details and results from the seven modern plants lithological descriptions taken from the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, see Fig. Figure 6. Figure 7. Data availability All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article. References 1. Nederbragt Memorial University Newfoundland, St. View author publications. Ethics declarations Competing interests The authors declare no competing interests. About this article. Cite this article Madgwick, R. Over the years, scholars have debated whether this series of buildings served a residential or religious purpose, Gleeson said.
Medieval sources noted that the ancient Kings of Ulster who ruled from about the fifth to 13th centuries A. But Gleeson and his colleagues at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and the German Archaeological Institute, Frankfurt found that two, previously-known pairs of figure-of-eight buildings — named for the "8" shape — are part of a much larger site.
Related: Photos: gold, amber and bronze treasures found in Iron Age grave. The "tops" of these figure-of-eight buildings are about 82 feet 25 m in diameter and the "bottoms" are smaller, at about 33 feet 10 m in diameter, Gleenson said. Each of these buildings are located within an even larger, circular enclosure about feet m in diameter. Put another way, "we have two figure-of-eight shaped buildings in a much larger figure-of-eight shaped enclosure and all of that is contained within a series of palisades [wooden staked] enclosures of about meters [ feet] in diameter," Gleeson said.
These huge temples are among the largest and most complex ritual structures dating to later prehistory and pre-Roman times in Northern Europe, Gleeson said in a statement.
He added that the repetitive use of the figure-of-eight motif may have cosmic significance, which suggests that "these are, in fact, religious structures. Of note, the four palisades predate the Iron Age meter structure. It appears that Iron Age people built, destroyed and reconstructed temples repeatedly over generations on the same site, Gleeson told Live Science. Human activity continued at Navan Fort after these Iron Age constructions, Gleeson and his colleagues found. The team team identified another complex of enclosures that likely date to early medieval times, a time when the Kings of Ulster are said to have lived there, Gleeson said.
It's possible that Navan Fort was selected as a medieval royal residence because of the religious temples that had once stood here, Gleeson said. So, this is really changing the way we look at Navan Fort. Next, once they secure funding, the team hopes to excavate these structures at Navan Fort, Gleeson said. Skip to main content.
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